How did you first get started writing romance?
I’ve always enjoyed writing. In high school I was co-sports editor of the student newspaper and in college I majored in broadcast journalism. It wasn’t until I took a creative writing class at the University of Arizona that I discovered how much I enjoyed fiction writing. After graduating college I married, had kids and became a stay-at-home mom who read romances to escape the stress of raising two toddlers. When my youngest began all-day kindergarten, I cleaned out the basement and discovered the short stories I’d written in college, which reminded me how much I enjoyed writing and I decided to try my hand at writing a romance story. My first manuscript was a cliché pirate plot that landed in the recycle bin. I switched to contemporary stories because historicals required too many trips to the library to do research. (Yes, I’m old enough to have written a book without the help of Google) It wasn’t until I joined Romance Writers of America in Denver, Colorado, that I became serious about pursuing publication. Eight years later I sold my first book, The Cowboy and the Bride, to Harlequin American Romance and since then I’ve contracted over thirty-five stories for the line.
If you could be any heroine from your favorite novel, who would you choose and why?
Ellen Tanner from Nelson in Command (July 2013). I grew up in a small town and remember taking Sunday drives with my grandfather through the back roads of Wisconsin. I’d stare at the passing dairy barns and imagine what it would be like to grow up on a farm and take care of cows. Then we’d stop at a tavern and “Gramps” would buy me a Shirley Temple and a bag of cheese popcorn and he’d drink a draft beer before we headed home.
Out of all the books you’ve read, which one would you turn into a book to film adaptation, (if it has not been done before)?
Any Curtiss Ann Matlock romance would make a great movie!
List five adjectives to describe yourself.
Dry sense of humor
What’s your favorite place for inspiration?
The passenger seat of a car staring out the window at the passing scenery. I also love junk hunting in salvage shops and dumpy places like the Texas Junk Company in Houston. What can I say—junk speaks to me. There’s a story behind every castoff and trinket no one wants anymore.
Do you have one thing that can completely distract you while writing?
What is your favorite quote by a writer who inspires you?
“You Must Do The Things You Think You Cannot Do” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
When it comes to book covers, what attracts you to buy a book?
Color scheme and how the overall scene speaks to me emotionally.
While you were writing, did you ever feel as if you were one of the characters?
No, but many times I was relieved I wasn’t one of them.
If you could ask any character in A Cowboy’s Claim a question, what would it be?
I’d ask Tanya McGee what took her so long to make her move on Victor Vicario.
What are you working on next?
A new cowboy series involving three brothers caught in the middle of a feud between their grandfather, mayor Emmett Hardell and the matriarch of Stampede, Texas, Amelia Rinehart. Despite Emmett’s objections Amelia is determined to give the dusty west Texas town a makeover and enlists the help of her female relatives. It isn’t long before the women realize the biggest obstacle in their path is a Hardell cowboy.